Day 2 of Epsom Races

Members of the British Royal Family officially kicked off the summer racing season today with attendance at the Epsom Derby Festival in Surrey. For these races, the Queen repeated one of my least favourite pieces in her millinery closet, a hat in white textured straw trimmed with piping and a hat band made of the same blue fabric as her coat. While my initial response to this piece might be a little strong, I still think the shape and embellishment on this piece doesn’t work toether and leaves the piece several steps short of being elegant or attractive.

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Designer: Angela Kelly
Previously Worn: July 3, 2015June 21, 2013
THe Duke of Edinburgh looked handsome as ever in his grey top hat with black hatband. I thought the hat was shown off to perfection with his grey waistcoat and mottled teal tie.
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Princess Alexandra repeated her palest grey-blue hat with tall crown, tulle wrap trim and short mushroom shaped brim. While we saw it just a few weeks ago, it remains such an elegant design for her.

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Designer: Rachel Trevor Morgan
Previously Worn: May 12, 2016June 13, 2015May 20, 2015; October 18, 2011; May 8, 2010

Princess Michael of Kent was also in pale grey, repeating her silk covered pillbox with white feather plume trim. Even in a neutral colour, Marie-Christine has a knack for standing out and the plume on this hat always makes me smile. It’s such a great hat for raceday. Like Prince Philip, Prince Michael chose a grey top hat with black hatband. It’s a handsome hat on him but I would have preferred it paired with a grey waistcoat instead of the beige one he wore today.

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Designer: John Boyd
Previously Worn: June 13, 2015; October 18, 2014June 18, 2014; June 16, 2014
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, who are also racing enthusiasts, were also in attendance today. Prince Haya paired her sleek white coat dress with a black straw disk hat rimmed in a wide stripe of white straw and trimmed with a large white silk flower. While the hat crowned a very elegant ensemble, it was less of a statement than we usually see Haya favour and left me just slightly underwhelmed. Sheikh Mohammed sported a gleaming antique silk top hat that contrasted nicely with his punchy raspberry tie.
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Designer: I suspect Philip Treacy
Previously Worn: I believe this hat is new

UPDATE- Viscountess Linley also attended in her angular black textured straw cocktail hat with black feather trim.

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Designer: unknown
Previously Worn: October 24, 2014

With the exception of the Queen’s hat, the royal millinery at Epsom today leaned more toward the demure and refined than the bold and dramatic. What do you think of the pieces we saw today?

Photos from Getty as indicated

25 thoughts on “Day 2 of Epsom Races

  1. I actually like all of the hats including HM. I like how it really goes with the coat and then when the coat is off the blue is a pop of color in contrast to the mostly white dress. Prss Alexandra is elegant as is Prss Michael and Prss Haya. The men look debonair. On another note I am curious about Prss Haya and her husband’s other wife. Do they attend separate occasions with the Prince or at times do they attend functions together?

  2. I like the color and general concept of Queen Elizabeth’s hat and don’t object to it as much as others. I do think that in most of the pictures above the blue and green embellishment pouf probably appears too big and seems to have blown into ugly shapes. The picture below is what I consider its most flattering view. (But since so many people want this hat to disappear, I certainly won’t stand in anyone’s way and campaign the save the poor thing.)
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    Princess Alexandra always looks elegant, and Haya of Jordan/Dubai definitely did this weekend too.

  3. Some hits and some misses, but I think everyone is saving the best for Royal Ascot. (Also, Princess Haya for the win!)

  4. Gosh, I’m really sorry but I love HM’s hat .. I think it’s really a fun hat as it should be for a day at the races ..
    The Duke always looks magnificent .. this was no exception ..
    Princess Alexandra is such a delightful lady .. she’s always elegant and understated ..
    Princess Michael’s style is always worth looking at ..

  5. Her Majesty’s hat? I don’t hate it and she looks mighty happy to be at the races so, if she doesn’t care about the hat, I don’t. It’s just great to see that wonderful smile. And Princess Alexandra – I absolutely love her but in the photos where you can see her entire outfit she looks like she just stepped of the set of “Call the Midwife.”

    Now on to the men – the Duke of Edinburgh – well done, sir, except no buttonhole today. I think both he and the Queen are holding back until Ascot.

    Prince Michael – God love him, he is always well-turned out but he hasn’t updated his style since 1935! The size of his collar and tie knot – oh my! One note, however, notice the lapel of his morning coat. It has a notched lapel rather than a peak lapel and is trimmed along the outside edge with satin – that is a very early styling of morning coat from the 1930s or earlier. That coat had to be tailored for him, but likely from when he was a very young man. The fact that he and Prince Philip are wearing coats from decades ago is truly astonishing.

    Sheikh Mohammed – great hat but it stops there. As someone else said, his clothes simply don’t fit him, but he always looks like that. Can someone please take him to a tailor?

    • I don’t mind HM’s hat either – it’s fun and different. Just don’t repeat this one:
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      Charles, please send us some pictures like you did last year – great fun!
      Once again, my invitation seems to have gotten lost in the mail! Maybe next year!

    • Re Prince Philip and Prince Michael, I find that so reassuring .. their tailoring requirement were established those years ago and their sizes have scarcely changed at all .. they are both men who know their own minds and who are very clear as to their priorities .. keeping up with fashions and trends just doesn’t figure on their list of “to do” .. Prince Charles is much the same I think. While Prince Andrew has had to have new things – he’s grown a bit!

  6. The Queen’s dress is beautiful. It could have been topped with a simple white straw picture hat trimmed in pale blue silk. That would have made a nice summery combo. When are the British going to get global warming so they can leave their overcoats at home once in a while?

  7. This isn’t my favorite hat for HM, but I don’t understand all the hate for it, especially when I think there are many other hats out there that are WAY worse. I find the shape is very flattering for her, and the colors are great. The textured and woven straw is a bit odd, and the trim isn’t the greatest, but there is something Edwardian about the trim, which I like. Philip looks stylish as always.

    I think Alexandra deserves some new hats, because she doesn’t have much variety (color or style) when I think about it. Many look fine, but I feel like they get repeated so quickly.

    Prince Michael is definitely up there with Philip when it comes to royal sartorial splendor. Meanwhile, Marie-Christine (Princess Michael) looks fine, but she has worn this so much, I am most definitely bored with it. When will she bring back that glorious masterpiece from William & Kate’s wedding?! I’ll give my kingdom for the return of that hat!

    Finally, I think Princess Haya looked lovely. While Epsom is a fairly important race, it’s definitely more subdued, so I see no problem with Haya’s ensemble. The Sheikh’s top hat and tie are great, but the rest of his outfit looks like he’s playing dress-up in his father’s clothes; they are just way too big and/or baggy on him; someone get him to the tailor ASAP!

    • I agree with all your comments. Except that we see Princess Alexandra so seldom that we cannot really get tired of her hats. Does she not always look like an elegant Edwardian lady? I love her.

  8. The Queen’s hat looks like it’s made of lace and I kind of like that. I agree that the feathers and the shape are not good at all. What I do like about it is how well it goes with her dress. It makes me wonder how many of her other hats go as well together with their matching dresses but we never get to see them because she almost always has her coat on.

    Princess Haya’s hat is so gorgeous. I love how it matches with her purse.

  9. I’m with you Hat Queen – HM’s topper is on my least fav list of her hats – I never have liked that crown shape – it’s the ultimate Mad Hatter look – and that ostrich feather looks like it could have been taken off a costume get up for some lesser Euro country’s palace guard. It’s all just wrong in my book. P. Alexandria looks super, per usual. Unlike you, I am not a fan of Princess Michael’s pillbox feather hat – it’s not what I expect of a race day hat at all. It might be OK for a church service/christening type event.

  10. Love that picture of the Kents holding hands. They always make me smile. While HM’s hat is a shape she likes and wears well, the embellishment is dreadful. It looks like it was attacked by an ostrich, and lost.

      • HatQueen, I was about to comment along these lines — how we won’t miss seeing this one at Ascot — when I read this. It’s too bad you’re too polite to open a post on hats we would NOT like to see repeated there!

        While Princess Haya’s hat is not as dramatic as others she’s worn, I appreciate its classic look. Is there a tradition that the ladies save their big guns for Ascot?

  11. Dear HatQueen,
    You were truly on the mark with your previous commentary (not overly harsh at all)– and today’s repeat was no improvement. When one thinks of some of the hats that have been remodeled for far less egregious reasons, it brings to mind the question: Why hasn’t this one been fixed?– if not retired completely.
    This headgear (one hesitates to designate it a hat) could be the cover on a book titled “When Hats Go Bad”.

    As much as Ms. Kelly’s more recent designs have mostly been acceptable, this is a reminder that her taste level, especially in the trimmings, can veer off the rails at any time. The twee, tatty, crumpled nosegay is really an affront, and nothing about the rest of the hat helps in the least –starched doily is a brilliant description, but is actually being kind.

    At least when HM wears a real stinker like this, one can rejoice that most of her Kelly hats are ‘not truly awful’. MrFitzroy apologizes if he seems in a sour mood today, but this hat can do that.

    For anyone who might try to defend it, take a look at the closeup in the Daily Mail Epsom article….atrocious,
    EXCEPT for the truly lovely woman wearing it — who can salvage (nearly) anything, merely by putting it on her head.

  12. I love Princess Alexandra’s hat and how she accessorized it with a pearl choker and a scarf with polka dots – in theory the combination should not work yet somehow she pulls it off. The Queen looks so happy and all smiles that I’m willing to ignore the hat.

  13. Oh after all that chat about the one we’d like to see repeated… This comes back. I don’t hate it as much as you do, but it’s just not a polished or elegant outfit. The coat is shapeless and the hat has too much going on. This is Angela K when she’s not at her best I’m afraid.

    • It didn’t escape me yesterday that NOT A SOUL hoped for this design to make another appearance. I do like many of Angela Kelly’s designs but I have to wonder if objectivity is ever possible for the Queen’s dresser when her own designs are involved.

  14. The Queen’s hat “should be driven over by a large truck” you say. That made me LOL but I completely agree. It’s so ugly.

    Princess Haya looks good as always but we know she can be so much MORE so this feels boring on her.

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